Unfree Labour, Migration and Racism: Towards an Analytical Framework

Autor(en): Carstensen, Anne Lisa
Stichwörter: Brazil; Business & Economics; FORCED-LABOR; GLOBAL-ALLIANCE; Industrial Relations & Labor; labour migration; MIGRANT WORKERS; racism; unfree labour; workers' rights
Erscheinungsdatum: 2021
Herausgeber: MCMASTER UNIV
Volumen: 12
Ausgabe: 1
Startseite: 1
Seitenende: 17
When it comes to analysing exploitative and unfree labour, most research refers to ``othering'' or ``race''. Race is often treated as a given category rather than a social phenomenon that needs explanation. In this article, I draw attention to the question of how racism is preserved, reproduced and changed within and through unfree labour relations. 1 do this by discussing the conceptual interlinkages between unfree labour, migration and racism. While the role of migration policies should not be underestimated, this should be accompanied by an analytical account of their racist background and outcomes. Based on this I present a framework for the analysis of racism as it relates to unfree labour and migration. I draw attention to three different levels of analysis (historico-structural, discursive-symbolic and everyday practices) and the interrelations between them. For empirical illustrations, I draw on my research on modern slave labour in two production sectors in Brazil: charcoal and clothing. I discuss the empirical findings with regard to three analytical problems in the analysis of unfree labour and racism: the impact of generalising knowledge on (future) migrant workers; the role and responsibility of global production networks; and the need to critically reflect on initiatives and policies aimed at the eradication of unfree labour.
ISSN: 19186711

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